Denise~The Procrastinating Book Diva~'s Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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May 06, 12

Read on May 01, 2012

3.5 stars

The first two books in this trilogy have been an exhilarating, albeit disturbing, roller coaster ride. Lisbeth Salander is hands down the most intriguing and complex character I have ever read. She takes rooting for the under dog to a whole new level. Mikael, while not nearly as multilayered as Lisbeth, plays off of her well and easily held my interest. I fell in love with both characters in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, despite Mr. Larsson's penchant for tediously lengthy explanations of everything. The book really didn't take off for me until nearly 10 chapters in. I almost put it down numerous times - I mean let's face it, if a book hasn't grabbed your attention 3-4 chapters in chances are it's not for you. However, several co-workers who had read the series encouraged me to keep going, and I'm glad I did.

I was so excited to start The Girl Who Played With Fire. I'd stayed up to 3 am a few nights reading TGWTDT, so I was looking forward to more of the same, but this time I'd be on vacation. To say that I was initially disappointed would be the understatement of the decade. Had it not been for my near obsessive need to know what happens to Lisbeth, I would have tossed this in my unfinished book graveyard. The first 2/3 of the book literally dragged on for days. There was so much filler and inconsequential information (do we really need to know precisely what's on Lisbeth's grocery list EVERY TIME she goes to the market?!?!?). Nonetheless, the final third of the book was so explosive and fast paced that it helped with the narrow escape of a two star rating. Despite the repetition and the endless pages of drivel, the book suffers most because of Mikael and Lisbeth's limited contact throughout. These books are at their best when Lisbeth and Mikael are working together - face to face. I'll admit that I love romance(you can take the romance out of the book, but not out of the girl), and am hoping against hope that they end up together in The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. However, when the dust finally settles, what I want most is to see Lisbeth triumph.

For all of their faults these books are definitely worth reading. As I prepare to read the final book I know regardless of how I feel about it in the end, Lisbeth Salander is one of those characters that will stay with me forever.
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message 5: by Searock (last edited May 05, 2012 02:36PM) (new)

Searock Denise wrote: :"I'll admit that I love romance(you can take the romance out of the book, but not out of the girl)..."

Love that!
Love the review. So edifying for those of us who haven't read the series. I just watched the movie last night. It lost my hubby halfway in, but I was riveted. I could see how the minutiae would become near-painful if reading it though. Not sure about what to do... read or wait for movies.
Thanks for your great comments, Denise :)


message 4: by Denise~The Procrastinating Book Diva~ (last edited May 06, 2012 11:27AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Denise~The Procrastinating Book Diva~ Thanks Searock!!! I've watched both versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (at least your hubby gave it a try, one look at the dvd jacket and my hubby retreated quickly). I really enjoyed both movies but felt like the American version was truer to the book. The swedish actress who plays Lisbeth was really good, but Rooney Mara is closer to how I envisioned her. I really enjoyed the other 2 swedish movies, but was extremely disappointed in how it ended. I'd say read the books while waiting for the movies, or get the swedish versions of the next 2 movies. I'm not a huge fan of subtitles but the movies were really good.


message 3: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian I wasn't all that impressed with the 3rd Swedish movie, but I preferred the Swedish versions of the other two. But I think that was mainly because Noomi Rapace was so striking as Lisbeth. I love these books. I think Lisbeth is one of the most interesting female characters I have read. She's this tiny waif of a woman but she's like this all-destroying tornado. Really interesting.


message 1: by Denise~The Procrastinating Book Diva~ (last edited May 06, 2012 11:32AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Denise~The Procrastinating Book Diva~ Ian wrote: "I wasn't all that impressed with the 3rd Swedish movie, but I preferred the Swedish versions of the other two. But I think that was mainly because Noomi Rapace was so striking as Lisbeth. I love th..."
I thought the 3rd Swedish movie was pretty good until the end - because, well it just ended. I know how the book ends and felt like they could have done better with portraying it. Noomi Rapace was brilliant in the movies. Her acting of the pivotal rape scene was excruciatingly gut wrenching. I felt like her Lisbeth had a softness that Rooney Maras' didn't. If the two could be combined that would be the perfect Lisbeth Salander. I agree with your description of her - she had the ability to say more with a look than most people could say with an entire monologue. I also feel like Daniel Craig was more suited for Mikael than his swedish counterpart. He definitely had that charming womanizer air about him, the other guy while a really good actor didn't sell these traits as well.
I just found out that the Swedish movies were lengthened and turned into a miniseries for TV. I've read that it is better than the movies so I've decided to buy them so see for myself.


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